The Wise Ones and Come of Age... Episode #4 with Stephen Jenkinson

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You know those times you listen to a voice, a talk, a something that when it’s over you feel changed? That’s how I felt the first time I listened to Stephen Jenkinson talk.

Even more so after interviewing him. 

I could sit next to him around a fire and listen forever. In the lack of many elders in my life who I go to with my questions, in many ways here is a man who leads the way.


In this episode we talk about

*elderhood and the disappearance of elders in our society

*wisdom and what it is to be wise

*his new book ‘Come of Age’. 

*his work with people facing death

His way of presenting these important themes is not full of fear, it is full of life and hope. 

Enjoy his words. 

STEPHEN JENKINSON is an activist, teacher, author, and farmer. He has a master's degree in theology from Harvard University and a master's degree in social work from the University of Toronto. Formerly a program director at a major Canadian hospital and medical-school assistant professor, Stephen is now a sought-after workshop leader, speaker, and consultant to palliative care and hospice organizations. He is the founder of The Orphan Wisdom School in Canada and the subject of the documentary film Griefwalker.

Find more about him here: 

https://orphanwisdom.com/events/


His books:

Come of Age

Die Wise

His Orphan Wisdom Facebook Page:

https://www.facebook.com/orphanwisdom/

Radical Sisterhood and Rebirthing Sanity, Becoming Nature Podcast #3

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In this Episode 3 I interview Clare Dubois. 


You will hear:

  • How Sisterhood is one the Keys to create massive change

  • Why trees and reforestation is important. 

  • Clare’s amazing and wild story of how it all began. 

  • Why the focus is on the tropical rainforest.

  • What and where can we go if we want to make change locally 

  • More importantly why Sisterhood and what is the potential if we reconnect to our inner nature and come together as a tribe. 

I was really excited and nervous as I have been with all of these people who said yes to an interview. I feel this theme of nature and environmental issues strongly. I feel more hope than despair. And this is good. If we can sense the urgency and yet see ways to make a difference, we are on a good path.

If anything I dream that this episode will be the call to unite. Even though TreeSisters, gather the women the is a calling to all to come together. Alone we can do so much, together we can move mountains.


DISCLAIMER: The sound on my end is a little off in the beginning. Practice a little patience with me and it will get better ;)

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About Clare Dubois and TreeSisters

Clare Dubois is the founder of TreeSisters.org, a feminine nature based organisation inspiring the world’s women to take shared leadership around tropical reforestation. TreeSisters reflects Clare’s exploration of the links between feminine consciousness and Nature’s intelligence. She and her team experiment overtly to discover how to call forth the unique capacities and creativity of women on behalf of the trees. Currently funding over 2M trees a year, they are calling for all of us to help them reach a goal of a billion trees a year as fast as we possibly can in the face of accelerating climate change.




Clare is known for her whole systems approach to behaviour change and her unending loyalty and love for the natural world. For two decades she created behaviour change processes within the personal growth and social change sectors, and volunteered for three years as the UK co-ordinator for a massive agro-forestry initiative in southern India called Project GreenHands (PGH) before initiating TreeSisters.  In her own life, her aim is to reclaim balance, rediscover freedom and health and to be 'walking permission' for those who are fed up of being held back, and just want to have a go.

Becoming Nature Podcast; Mini Episode #1

6 Plastic Free Solutions for Your Everyday Life

In this mini episode I present 6 easy swaps from plastic to plastic free you can make in your home. These won't cost you much, some will even save you money. Comfort wise you should still be covered as well... ;) 

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Is it full on Zero waste with little selection, no. Is it a good start, YES. This may tickle your curiosity to more changes, more ways to limit your waste. We all start with what and where we can. 

Some of them you probably know, or have heard of, maybe you just forgot or don't have resources for where to get your hands on them. Maybe this is your first time looking into what you can do to decrease amounts of trash and plastic in your household. 

Either Way I hope you will find it helpful and feel free to share with your friends that may need some Inspiration. 

The links presented are NOT affiliate links, just companies I really like or have been recommended. I've tried to link to companies that are located on different continents, so we lower the foot print that shipping World Wide can leave!

Also most big Cities now have stores dedicated to Zero Waste living. Health Food Stores have more and more options for plastic free living etc. And the more we ask, the more they will respond to the demand. Our Dollar is our vote. 

Becoming Nature, Episode 1 - Turning Off the Plastic Tap

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In case you missed the news, I have launched a podcast

Becoming Nature is here to inspire you to come closer to nature.

On episode one of the very first season, I talk to Frederikke Magnussen, co-founderof A Plastic Planet.

Frederikke and his team at A Plastic Planet are on a mission.

They know that conventional plasticis what we see everywhere!

And they know that the way plastic is described is confusing. Some examples are “bio-plastic”,“drop in bio-plastic”, “oxo-biodegradable plastics”- how on earth do we know the difference?!

All three of the aboveconventional plastics take hundreds of years to break down.

And they’re damaging our marine life and polluting our planet at an awful, awful unprecedented rate. 

Or listen on iTunes here...

A Plastic Planet are all about plain speaking.

It’s either plastic, or it’s not plastic!

Plastic, somewhere along the line, has become super confusing and a complicated issue for everyone.

For people who aren’t bothered about change, they just try to complicate it even further!

A Plastic Planet want to bring a straight-talking simplicity to the world of plastic, using language that everyone can relate to. 

Hurrah for plain and simple to understand English!

 

In the podcast, Frederikke and I talk about:

  • the facts about single use plastic
  • how we can turn off the tap
  • where we can put pressure to help turn the climate ship around
  • When you can buy gluten-free, fat-free, dairy-free; why can we not buy plastic-free?

Tune in now and listen to this can’t-miss episode. 

 

And as a bonus treat, click here to get a free PDF treat - Top tips to turn off the plastic tap.

The Becoming Nature Podcast

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Something exhilarating is happening.

And I just know you’re going to love it.

My brand newpodcast, Becoming Nature, launches this week.

To say I am excited is an understatement!

Becoming Nature is here to inspire you to come closer to nature.

 

Practically

Spiritually

Bodily 

 

Even more so this is a personal launch. Saturday the 25th marks a special day, the podcast goes live on what would have been my dear friend's 48th birthday. She passed away in January and I wanted this season 1 to be a tribute to her, to her work, to our friendship. A tribute to the change we wanted to see. The hikes and ceremonies we did together in Nature. And also just a tribute to how much she inspired me, cheered me on and never thought anything I came up with was a shitty idea. ;) 

Are all of these interviews perfect, no. Not in the polished sense, but they did move me - every single one of the people who came on inspire me. They have something to say and a strong voice for change. 

The wonderful guests I will be hosting will inspire and motivate you in encouraging ways to live more sustainably, connected to the Earth beneath your feet!

They will show you what choices you can make in your own life to leave a gentle footprint on the planet. 

Honoringour homes, the body and Earth. 

Honoringthe wisdom of both. 

Celebrating the options we have to live more sustainable lives. 

 

They will do the same for you; I guarantee it. 

You’ll learn about actions you can take in your own lives to live more sustainably in the nature of your body and the nature around you. You will begin to feel clear around why this is important.

In Becoming Nature, I feed the ‘what we can do’and not just the horror stories. 

The inspiration may be born from urgency and the pain that we inflict on ourselves and the earth, but I don’t want to create panic. I want to call out the wisdom, knowledge and hope for the power we hold in our choices. 

The people I interview … their work is so important and there is a hunger for it within this community that you are apart of.

Guests will include Callie from Alone season 3, Clare Dubois; the founder of TreeSisters, Stephen Jenkinson, A plastic Planet, Easky Britton, Luke from the Holistic Survival School and more. They are an inspiration, and through their words they will impart wisdom to you on Becoming Nature.

I can’t wait for you to join me on this thrilling new podcast adventure.

My first episode 'Turning off the Plastic Tap', will be airing on August 25th via iTunes.

Stay tuned and follow the blog, Instagram or Facebook to listen in... 

Come Spring and Self-Sufficient Success.

Last year I tried this thing on going *big* with the blogging. I think I took a dive into it with an off-start point, as I don’t enjoy writing advice and how-tos. I like writing about life, not so much to inspire the masses, but as happens to many I know, things process in a different way through writing, talking and sharing. 

One of the reasons why I enjoy circle work so much, is because things process differently in a setting like that. Where we aren’t there to deliver, put up a show, or put on a mask; it’s a different way of relating to self and others. 

So sitting down here at the computer, I am relating to this in a new way. Many have asked why I don’t blog about life here in the forest. Or show what we do and choices we’ve made. It never really stuck with me … why would that be interesting? However over the past few months I have begun to feel a desire to share a bit more. Realizing, I guess, that we are doing a lot of cool things here. 

My beautiful sister has been my communications woman for a month and she also got the inspiration stirring. So here we go. Attempt number 14 to find a way of creating a blog presence that feels creative and interesting to write. 

Spring here has been a tease for a few weeks. Are you coming? Nope not yet. Patience, people of the north. And there has been a weird energy in the people around me, and myself included, of wanting to get things rolling, and still not feeling fully capable to gain momentum. I’ve felt a long take off ramp is ready and yet my body hasn’t been willing to unfold in the pace that I’ve set things up for. 

 Sorting seeds and checking in with the ones I harvested and fermented last year. 

Sorting seeds and checking in with the ones I harvested and fermented last year. 

 

But this weekend it was as if it finally clicked into place and we put on warm clothes and fled into the garden. We got the seeds out, trying to plan what we would like to grow this year. And more importantly, where. 

 

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One of the biggest lessons has been - PLAN - and be realistic in our ambitions. I once was told that after 5 years of getting this self-sufficient lifestyle going, you will have made enough mistakes to begin a route to success. It feels like we may need a little more…

I have a good feeling about this year and our harvest adventure. 

This is what our first real spring garden looks like - mud and more mud. We got most of the early veg ready and have it in a warm(er) space and hopefully we will begin to see little green heads popping out of there soon. 

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We’ve had success with onions, potatoes, zucchini, strawberries, cucumber, tomatoes, lettuce, herbs, peppers, garlic, rocket and beans. So this is where we are starting. Hoping to add some cabbages, squash, pumpkin and leeks this year. Cross your fingers. :)

Our idea is that guests at the *Forest Retreat House* can enjoy going out and fetching greens for their dinner. I will write about this space soon. It's an adventure for sure!!! 

Love
Carina

Bleeding sustainably...

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Most women are beginning to notice the rise in women owning their blood. Some find it over the top, gross, something that should continue to be private and toned down. 

Others, me included, find the power in knowing how my cycle influences me throughout the month. And more so how my way of living influences my cycle. It is our feedback system if we dare to listen. It tells a lot. And whether you feel like claiming it publicly or not, I can only recommend beginning to explore your cycle. 

This is not only the bleeding time, but the full cycle from pre ovulation all the way around to the days you bleed. 

Tuning into emotions, mood, physical sensation, energy. In this post I share a little more on tracking your cycle. Take a read…

For this post I wanted to bring attention to the less-waste approaches I’ve made when it comes to my cycle. 

It is very simple actually, I stopped buying pads, tampons (only used those when I was a teen) and have invested in 6 fabric pads and a luna cup. That is all I use. 

It is easy. I have a little wet bag for used pads. Wash them with towels etc. No smell or a bloody mess… haha. 

But the thing that brings me true joy is what it saves me money wise and Earth wise. 

 

The Numbers

Meet Jaluna Red ;) . She’s 50 and just had her last period. She had her first when she was 12. She has 2 children and with both kids her cycle began again 10 months after giving birth. 

The past 2 years her cycle has been a little irregular.  So taking all of this into calculation, she has had around 408 bleeds in her life time. 

Jaluna used to bleed 5 days on average and used 4-5 pads or tampons a day. (You can do your own calculation. I have 3 girls so I will experience fewer.) 

Jaluna has used a whopping 8160 pads/tampons in those years!! That’s a lot going down the drain or in the trash! 

She used a common brand, non organic etc. 1 pad cost her around 20cents.* So in her life time she spends roughly 1600USD on pads/tampons alone.

It’s a lot really. 

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My calculation
So let’s say I have to buy three cups in my bleeding years. Each cup lasts around 10years = 17USD per cup.

And then 3x 6 cloth pads (those who can make them themselves can save even more) = 25USD for a 6pack.

All together it has cost me roughly 126USD with the zero waste version. 

 

A lot of math, but worth doing! 

So there are a few motivation pointers to look at when it comes to choosing what you use. And more and more are coming up: underwear was recently launched for example, so you don’t need any of the options above, sponges and more. 

Glancing at these numbers it gives me the sense of the scale of our choices. 

Little me may not make a big difference… we think. But let’s say that I get 4 friends to join me. We’ve already saved the world from 32640 pads/tampons. Each of those 4 inspires 4 more etc. and all of the sudden we are making an impact. 

Numbers will vary no doubt. Cost will vary no doubt. But the amount of trash we generate continues to rise. Where it goes. What it means to our Earth will also be discussed, for me my consumption and consumer habits is in my power and worth looking at 1 million *little me* actions is no longer insignificant! 

I hope that this post will inspire you to do your research and what is out there, and maybe find a way to bring the number down of what we throw away or flush out into our water. 

With Love
Cx

For inspiration on zero waste action in your business check out this post... 

 

*I ran it through Google and these are prices on average in Europe. See links below. It will vary from country to country. But the amount of pads being thrown away is the same, regardless of the price. 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01AFMJMPQ/ref=sspa_dk_detail_2?pd_rd_i=B01AFMJMPQ&pd_rd_wg=pX95O&pd_rd_r=MQ44JXCKV8B8PQZHRFZ7&pd_rd_w=0Looe&th=1

 

https://menstrualcupreviews.net/go/MeLuna-Main

First steps to my Zero Waste Business.

I have talked a bit about zero waste and how much I love this movement that is happening around the Globe. My interview with Bea Johnson kicked it off for me

Some say climate change is bull. Others claim that ditching wrapping won’t change anything anyway. Others preach that plastic helps the fight against food waste. And as with everything else, people have opinions and we don’t all agree. 

I do believe that I make the changes I can with what I have, this doesn’t mean you do the same as me. Maybe just feel inspired to take a look at the steps that resonate with you. 

Reducing my waste and CO2 trail makes so much sense. 

In the beginning of 2017 I declared this to be a buy-nothing-new. I haven’t - well that’s not true; I bought a bra. But I need mine specially made so that was a ‘had to’ to save my back. And twice something dropped into my basket at the store that was a thing, not food, and I wasn’t really thinking. So in 5+ months, 3 new things have been purchased - I say that is doing pretty good. 

An area where I have had to really make some choices and consider how to go about it, is with my business. How do I reduce waste in this area? 

 

Because clearly I HAD to have business cards, handouts, manuals, cd’s, flyers, prints for my bookkeeping, postcards, magnets, notes and the list is long. 

Especially business cards and flyers. Thinking about what I do with the ones I receive, it just no longer made sense to have my own. They go in the bin… 

When reminding myself of the enormous amount - of all of the above - I have thrown away, it seemed there was room for improvement. 

 

So I no longer order or print: 

  • Business cards
  • Flyers
  • Postcards
  • Magnets
  • Hand-outs
  • Manuals
  • Cd’s (yeah who does that anyway... in our house we still dedicate a wall to this ancient thang)

 

That’s a huge amount of paper no longer coming in through my business. Not to mention money saved. I offer PDF’s. People can print them if they want or just write the points that matter in their journal etc. 

When I do print, I use the back side of my daughter’s school print outs (there’s enough to keep a few businesses running). My mom is a teacher and they print out piles of stuff for their students and often too many copies - she brings them home for me and I use those. 

Is there room to do more - sure. For a giant first step, I am pleased. I am implementing other things such as using recycled packaging to send out the herb products - that’s for another post. 

I know some will roll their eyes and think Jesus, a few flyers never hurt anyone. 

 

Well let’s play with some numbers: 

In Denmark alone there are around 125.000 solo businesses (2012) and that number is higher today. 

Let’s say each one of them buys 300 business cards and 500 flyers (what I did the first few years) that = 10.0000000 bits of paper are ending up in the garbage at some point and just for a one-off glance. Now bring that to a Global scale… phew, I wouldn't know how to calculate that. 

And this is not even counting the huge corporations. 

It no longer feels irrelevant to me. 

Fun fact - the business didn’t die out from the lack of exposure… Facebook, Instagram, talking to real people, fucking up and having wins have kept the wheels turning. 

Is this right for you. Maybe not, maybe flyers are the only way you feel you can get the word out. But are there other ways you can reduce your waste in your business? 

Would love to hear your ideas and thoughts. <3

My inner nature... on tracking your cycle.

One of my teachers once said ‘we can’t begin to understand, save or connect with nature, before we connect to our own’. Maybe a little mis-quoted, but this is my take away. Thank you Laila. 

This has been so true in my own practice. 

I have always felt connected to the wild though… I was born into the icy winds of the North. Fell in love with the mountains in Scotland. Teared up in the dangerous woods in Bosnia. And moved to the countryside in Denmark, which may not be as in-your-face breathtaking as the Rockies, but I am learning more and more each day from this gentle wilderness. 

But seeing myself as wild, as part of the un-graspable cycle of nature, never penetrated the surface.  

Until pregnancy. Until birth. Until I began to discover the power of my cycle. Until I became aware, really aware, of the force within that wasn’t in my control. It lived in me, but in many ways, a slightarrogance led me to believe that I was in charge… of everything. 

Growing and birthing a human and beginning to track my monthly cycle crafted me a new set of spectacles. This body is such a magical thing; not just a simple container to be unsatisfied with. 

 

 

And yes we know, we heard, the body mind thing. But it’s a meer tip of the iceberg. Getting intimate with my period, moon time, my monthly has uncovered a feedback system, like a truth coming from kids, drunk people and your cycle. It will tell you when something is up. We just need to listen. 

This is my invitation to you to - if never again - track your cycle for 3 months. 

You can use apps on your phone, but for this first 3 months I recommend you print out the Moon time track sheet (you can download it for free when you sign up here). Using the printable rather than an app gives you an easier overview. 

As you fill out the sheet over the next few months, certain patterns may begin to become clear: 

  • certains emotions at certain times
  • cravings
  • moodswings
  • sex drive
  • energy levels 
  • days when everyone is driving you nuts
  • days when nothing can beat you down
  • creativity
  • and and and

There is A LOT to write, share, say. But this is where it begins. As the lovely ladies at RedSchool call it: Menstrual Cycle Awareness (MCA). This is where it begins to unfold. Just how intelligent, sensitive and responsive the body is. How the changes in us each month become our allies and not the shit that gets in the way. It resonates when the same wise women refer to it as our inbuilt spiritual practice. 

I see patterns in me be mirrored in the seasons outside. I see how this isn’t inclusive to me. But the cycle happens all around me. I see that there is the monthly cycle, the seasons, the life cycle, the night and day and how each have their teachings. 

I feel a follow up post in the near future. For now download the track sheet and each day (or as often as you can) make note of: 

  • emotions
  • body
  • energy
  • mood
  • and what ever you feel is relevant

It doesn’t have to go all *dear dairy*; make it short and doable. 

Can’t wait to hear what comes up for you. <3

Day 9: What Mindfulness teaches me...

As a part of this challenge, and feeling challenged with it. I began to clean and clear out my computer. I found an essay I was asked to do for my 2nd mindfulness teacher training 3 years ago. 

It was just after my grandmother passed and I wasn't in the academia mindset. But I re-read what I wrote and thought it still fits like a glove. 

This is my response to the question Mark and Martin (our teachers) asked. 

What does it mean to teach with integrity and depth - for me

1st assignment Mindfulness TT. 

I had to go back and do this over. The past months have been filled with death and family issues that have taken me back to old stories patterns and anger. The past few days intensifying that and I felt like telling mindfulness to go fuck itself. Which is essential for me in how I can teach. 

I take it as a sign that as I sit a write this, the mist is so thick outside that I can’t see the house across the street. I feel a little clouded and this is my exploration of that. This is a step deeper into practice, teaching and how I define that for myself. 1500 words may fall short or turn out to be way too many... we will see.      

I am sorry for the delay.

Taking the seat or showing up these days is painful. It hurts. Rumination and self-pitty battle with wanting things to be different. Taking the seat is like forcing myself to re-live the grief from old stories and bliss seems to await in crappy TV shows and stuffing my face. And I have asked myself many times why would I want to put myself through that again. 

As it spins into a cycle, a dog chasing it’s own tale, what is my practice? In the light of this essay and training - is it mindfulness? No. And then again what is mindfulness. 

Even after years with a (mindfulness) practice I still don’t fully know what it is. It is a concept, an idea, a practice that is so many things that a one word label seems off. It creates resistance because I can’t grasp it, I don’t know it. 

So to get past being stuck on the word, what it has represented, the value or lack of, I have had to find a way of describing the meaning that feels aligned with me.

Showing up makes sense to me. Showing up means meeting my experience. Showing up means I am not trying to be the Dalai Lama, I am not aiming for enlightenment, it gives me breathing room and space for awareness. I don’t feel obliged to look like I have been touched by an angel or rebel against all of the above. The sense of showing up, opens me up allows me to be exactly as I am. I feel free’er. 

I have always been good at adapting language, dialects, styles. When setting down this route, that talent was very visible when it came to teaching. Following a teacher and finding my own style in that process didn’t come natural - to me. The more I taught, the more I was evaluated and the further I feel I have come from the integrity and depth of my own practice. Resistance builded and calling myself a teacher felt like a load of Bull Shit. I was an actor not a teacher. 

To begin to explore what teaching is I feel I should look at how I define a teacher - a master of mindfulness. The alter ego. The pruity of awareness and insight. Shoulder shrug - how the hell do you “live up to that”? A different approach is to look at what I feel a teacher is to me.

The last evening at Sharpham brought that forward. Not in your talks or meditations, but when we danced and you both joined. A teacher for me is someone who shows up, let’s go and moves. I am truly inspired by stories. By people who can let loose in a group. When I can feel their presence with me body and not my mind. That is what teaches me. 

If I could write out a wish list of what would to bring forward as a teacher it would be trust, letting go of wanting to fix, taking the seat, tapping into my own experience and letting go of what I want to be in that chair. 

And this is where I am stuck. I am in tears by my computer and I feel I am pushing myself too hard. My mind is with my grandmother and if I was to take any of my own advice that I would give to a student it would be to listen to that. Taking care of what is important and present is more important than trying to be good. 

I would allow myself to go home, crawl under the covers and feel through the sense of loss. Being held by my partner and drinking tea. I would allow myself to let go of shoulds and tasks and show up for what is here within me. I would move my body and connect to what body is in that moment. 

Because regardless of any agenda I as a teacher might have had, sensing what is here is essential. 

And yet I am not, I am trying to be a good student and get shit done. 

I am turning in these words with no clear direction no fine moral or punch-line. But for the past 2 days this is what depth and integrity meant to me.